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We are very excited to announce Anita as our 2018 CONNI Continence Award winner!

A registered nurse since 1994, Anita has not always been in the continence sector. She began her career in Cardiac Nursing and has a distinct memory of a CNA attending her hospital for some continence education, her thought was "Who on earth would want to be a continence nurse? Not me!"
After a traumatic personal experience following her son's birth, this view quickly changed into awe as Anita watched first hand the skill and value continence nurses and physiotherapists bring. The interest she developed fast became a passion and led Anita to enrol into a Graduate Diploma of Nursing (Continence Stream) at University. Anita later taught this same course to other aspiring continence nurses.

While working as a Continence Nurse for a Community Aged Care Service Anita found herself facing situations that her study had not prepared her for. She was sure there was a way to help the dementia patient that was urinating in inappropriate places and hiding continence aids, however, Anita didn’t feel prepared for this and couldn’t find anything useful in the literature. Frustrated and wanting to help her clients, Anita headed back to Uni and commenced her Masters of Nursing, focusing her research on managing Continence in persons with cognitive decline and dementia. When presenting this research Anita was awarded a prize for her abstract.

In 2017, Anita began work as a Clinical Advisor for the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. Anita explains, "the commissioner did not have a nurse with the speciality of continence in their employ and found continence was consistently in the top five clinical areas raised by members of the community about aged care". In her current role, Anita investigates continence care in residential care facilities and assists to improve practices through education and clinical leadership. She has found there has been many improvements in continence care for individual residents and at aged care facilities as a whole. Anita gets satisfaction knowing that the work she does ensures the elderly are receiving the dignity of quality continence care.

We hope Anita attending the 2019 ICS Conference will help and benefit the current work she is doing and can't wait to hear how this conference goes. Congratulations Anita!